I went to see the movie Risen last night, having high expectations. I was not disappointed! Risen is the retelling of the events of the resurrection of Christ, as seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier. I tend to watch films that depict Biblical events with a very critical eye for accuracy. The two or three inaccuracies I caught were so minor, they are not even worth mentioning. The fact that the integrity of the events surrounding Christ's resurrection were protected by the plot and script is truly refreshing, especially after having wasted good money to sit through 2014's Son of God. CLICK HERE for review of Son of God
Risen tells the story of an up and coming Roman soldier, Clavius(Joseph Fiennes), who, under the direct command of Pontius Pilate, is charged with bringing order back to Jerusalem after the death and resurrection of Christ. Clavius witnesses the already crucified Christ, moments after His death and unwittingly participates in key elements of the Gospel narrative. Pilate then entrusts the guarding of Jesus' tomb to Clavius, to ensure Christ's followers do not steal His body and claim a resurrection. Once Christ does rise, Clavius is given the duty to locate the stolen body of Christ and enforce peace in Jerusalem which is on the brink of utter chaos. While searching for the body of Christ, and the disciples believed to have stolen it, Clavius must confront issues he cannot reconcile in his mind concerning "the Nazarene".
Risen is a high quality production with fine acting, script and plot. Fiennes is utterly believable in the role of Clavius and gives an award worthy performance. While Clavius is obviously not part of any gospel narrative, his presence in the story changes none of the key elements of history, nor does it affect the overall message of Christ's sacrifice. I almost had the feeling that Clavius was reading the Gospel accounts and imagining himself there and participating to a certain extant. Inserting a fictional character into an historical account is often disastrous in terms of maintaining the integrity of the historical event. The makers of Risen do a fantastic job of telling a fictional tale within the confines of true history, without losing the accuracy of the history itself. Kudos to the writers, directors and producers for finding a way to entertain and educate.
Risen is an inspiring tale that is suitable for all but the youngest of viewers as there is some graphic violence and disturbing scenes of dead bodies in various stages of decay. The film is PG-13 and is suitable for ages 13 and up, in my opinion.
I highly endorse and recommend this film and plan on owning it when it comes out on DVD. Go see Risen this Resurrection Day season, you will not be disappointed.